CAMHS parents and friends bring their campaign to Leinster House – Kenny
Today at Leinster House, the Sligo Our Voice Their Future group met Sinn Féin’s Senator Máire Devine, Seanad spokesperson on Mental Health, to outline the crisis facing the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in the region.
Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny, who was instrumental in organising the meeting, said afterwards:
“I have been in contact with this group for some time and know the enormous difficulties they face as parents and friends of children and adolescents with mental health difficulties or autism or both.
“However, listening again to the three mothers explaining their situation and the circumstances of Sligo CAMHS, I have to admit to feeling shocked all over again.
“There are many problems in the CAMHS but above all there is a problem with staffing. The service needs psychologists, psychiatrists, speech and language therapists and psychiatric nurses. There are huge waiting lists and little has been done to shorten them over the past six months.
“Meanwhile, the custom-built respite facility opened in 2009, has been transformed into a residential unit and the home help type alternative offered to families involves paying for public liability insurance.
“The situation is dire and although the parents involved in Our Voice Their Future are wonderful people who are caring full-time and now campaigning too, no one should be under such pressure because they have a child who is ill or has autism.
“I promised, as did Senator Devine, to do my utmost to meet the new minister of state for mental health services, Jim Daly, and to appeal to him to contract the necessary staff and provide the adequate funding to remedy this crisis.”